For “Scripture Sunday”:
Where Does Religious Liberty Come From?
“ The Heritage Foundation , a United States based conservative think tank, is promoting these two weeks as focusing on religious freedom. Calling it a Fortnight for Freedom they are using this period leading to the Fourth of July to create awareness of the ever present danger to religious freedom in America. I see also that U.S. Catholic bishops are promoting the same. Regardless of who is behind any effort to raise awareness of religious freedom I would say that all people, everywhere, regardless of faith should be constantly vigilant for personal freedom.
Human government, no matter what the form—whether secular or religious, is historically the greatest threat to religious freedom. This does not take a lot of research to confirm.
The Obama administration has run into a buzz saw of criticism for its healthcare mandate that says religious and faith-based institutions must provide insurance for their employees to buy contraceptive methods, even if it violates that religious body's belief. This is why the Catholic bishops are united and extremely vocal against this measure.
Regardless of your belief on any given religious or conscience issue it is important that you maintain vigilance on any issue of personal freedom. I have been a part of a government intrusion into my church's affairs, and I fully understand the principle of religious liberty. Guarantees of freedom, in whatever form, are vital and important to maintain. You should never let down your vigilance on this issue.
The Constitution of the United States of America enshrines religious freedom in its First Amendment. It reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Religious pluralism in America has historically been one of the biggest reasons for its success. The framers of the Constitution desired to avoid the religious war and complications of Europe. They intended there would be no one religion that would dominate the politics and culture of the newly formed nation. All citizens would have freedom of religion, and yes, even freedom to not be religious or a believer, should they choose. This has allowed many established religions to flourish. It has allowed many unique forms of religion to originate here as well. Pentecostalism and Mormonisn are two examples.
The apostle Paul's statement in 2 Corinthians 3:17 sets a biblical baseline for this subject. "Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." One of the fundamental facts of the Bible is God's gift of choice to mankind. It is a two-sided gift that can bring both blessing and cursing (Deuteronomy 30:19) but when the right choice is made it results in good. True liberty, of any kind, originates with God.
Where religious freedom exists the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God can be preached and can flourish. America's long and distinguished history has produced such an environment. Let us be glad and give thanks for that. The most important thing we can do is continue to pray as Paul taught that the gospel might have the ability to be preached without hindrance. "Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you"(2 Thessalonians 3:1).” From: http://www.ucg.org/blog/where-does-religious-liberty-come/
“First, current history. The Fortnight for Freedom was declared because President Obama is trying to force Catholic institutions, through a Health and Human Services mandate, to provide contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization through their insurance coverage.
And now for a little ancient history to put current events into the widest possible context. To truly see what’s at stake with Obama’s HHS mandate, you must go all the way back to ancient Rome, to the pagan empire into which Christianity was born.” Read more at: http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/1433/preparing_for_a_fortnight_for_freedom_a_short_history_lesson.aspx
Egypt Update- Part 1
June, 25, 2012 - “Egypt has a new president. What will this mean for Egypt's future?”
Egypt Update- Part 2
June 26, 2012 - “Daniel 11 gives insight into Egypt and the Middle East.”
The Euro Crisis: A Simple Explanation
June 27, 2012 - “Understanding the current Euro crisis is no more difficult than understanding difference between a debit card and a credit card.”
This morning’s program on WGN:
Mideast Family Feud
“Ever watch families fight? It isn't pretty. But this family clash threatens world stability. Learn why and what you can do!”
“The Middle East is the most volatile region in the world. Revolutions have toppled governments in Libya and Egypt. Iran threatens to wipe the State of Israel off the map even as they push on toward development of a nuclear weapon. Palestinians push to regain lands lost in past wars.
Arab against Arab. Muslim against Jew. Middle East feuding has been an ongoing crisis for most of our lives.
The feud between these peoples has been continual. But one day it will explode into our backyards and impact our lives more than we can imagine.”
Abraham Lincoln’s '”You cannot”
On This Day:
Canadian Independence Day, Jul 1, 1867:
“The autonomous Dominion of Canada, a confederation of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the future provinces of Ontario and Quebec, is officially recognized by Great Britain with the passage of the British North America Act.
During the 19th century, colonial dependence gave way to increasing autonomy for a growing Canada. In 1841, Upper and Lower Canada--now known as Ontario and Quebec--were made a single province by the Act of Union. In the 1860s, a movement for a greater Canadian federation grew out of the need for a common defense, the desire for a national railroad system, and the necessity of finding a solution to the problem of French and British conflict. When the Maritime provinces, which sought union among themselves, called a conference in 1864, delegates from the other provinces of Canada attended. Later in the year, another conference was held in Quebec, and in 1866 Canadian representatives traveled to London to meet with the British government.
On July 1, 1867, with passage of the British North America Act, the Dominion of Canada was officially established as a self-governing entity within the British Empire. Two years later, Canada acquired the vast possessions of the Hudson's Bay Company, and within a decade the provinces of Manitoba and Prince Edward Island had joined the Canadian federation. In 1885, the Canadian Pacific Railway was completed, making mass settlement across the vast territory of Canada possible.”
Hong Kong returned to China, Jul 1, 1997:
“At midnight on July 1, 1997, Hong Kong reverts back to Chinese rule in a ceremony attended by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Prince Charles of Wales, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. A few thousand Hong Kongers protested the turnover, which was otherwise celebratory and peaceful.
In 1839, Britain invaded China to crush opposition to its interference in the country's economic, social, and political affairs. One of Britain's first acts of the war was to occupy Hong Kong, a sparsely inhabited island off the coast of southeast China. In 1841, China ceded the island to the British with the signing of the Convention of Chuenpi, and in 1842 the Treaty of Nanking was signed, formally ending the First Opium War.
Britain's new colony flourished as an East-West trading center and as the commercial gateway and distribution center for southern China. In 1898, Britain was granted an additional 99 years of rule over Hong Kong under the Second Convention of Peking. In September 1984, after years of negotiations, the British and the Chinese signed a formal agreement approving the 1997 turnover of the island in exchange for a Chinese pledge to preserve Hong Kong's capitalist system. On July 1, 1997, Hong Kong was peaceably handed over to China in a ceremony attended by numerous Chinese, British, and international dignitaries. The chief executive under the new Hong Kong government, Tung Chee Hwa, formulated a policy based on the concept of "one country, two systems," thus preserving Hong Kong's role as a principal capitalist center in Asia.”
Our Adoption Day was postponed from a previous Saturday, so Prime was picked up by another SPCA foster mom at 11.00am. That meant that I couldn’t be at the church in Cut-N-Shoot at 11.00 also, so I went to the one on FM 830, Willis, as it has a service at 1.45PM. It is near Conroe Thousand Trails, so it is closer to my house than the one at Cut-N-Shoot.
Jay was sick, so as I was going on my own, I went early so I could be there for Bible Study at 12.30. Even though we hadn’t been to that church for a while, they remembered and welcomed me. Some even asked about Jay. An enjoyable service and I stayed for the pot luck, and good fellowship afterwards. During the service it started to pour, so we had some much needed rain, and it stopped before we all left.
Prime was brought home about 6.00 pm, and she was so good at Adoption Day, as usual. Then there was another sudden downpour. Ray was weed eating, and rushed to roll up the cord. Jay was caught out in it on his three-wheeler, and had to get a towel to dry off Maddie, the Yorkie, who just lives to ride on that bike. Then the rain stopped as quickly as it had started. In the evening an elder from the church in Huntsville called to ask how I was, as I haven’t been there for a few months. It is nice to be thought about. Prime, Misty and I all had a good day.